Welcome PLA Attendees

Hi there and welcome to Book Blather. I know some of you may have found me via the PLA presentation BEYOND DUCT TAPE WALLETS. I just wanted to give a warm welcome! Below are links to some of the programs I talked about

And here are some of the posts that will be posting in the couple of weeks

  • Friday Night Madness: Zombies vs Humans
  • Book Club Discussions: Cruel Beauty, Eye of Minds, & Pawn.
  • Dry Erase Boards
  • Teen Librarian Survey Results
  • Teen Space Reorganization

If there is something in particular you would like me to do a post-write up, especially if I mentioned it during the presentation, just let me know and I’ll add it to my list!

Teen Program: Book Hedgehogs

The 4-1-1:

When: September 19th, 5:30 – 7:00pm
Resources: Cut out and Keep: Book Hedgehogs
How many teens: 9 teens
Cost/Supplies: $15

  • Buttons; $15, 2 packs of big buttons, 1 pack of small buttons.
  • Paperback books; $0,  I  grabbed gently used discarded or donated books
  • Scissors; $0, already had
  • Paper clips, $0, already had

The run-down:

I feel silly writing this even up, because it’s so easy. If you’ve looked at the directions, it’s literally just folding each page in half and then turning the corners in. That’s all you have to do….100 or more times. It can be a bit tedious, but the socialized while they did it and they loved how cute they were. Many of my teens were able to make two or three before they left. A couple even asked to take the extra books with them to make some at home. I also had some teens get creative and gave their hedgies little accessories or even some color.

Take-away/lessons learned:

  • 90 minutes for this program was way too long. This craft would have been better at the hour range. Most of the teens had finished their first one within 30 minutes or so.

  • The size of the book does matter. If the book is too long you hedgie will be way too fat. I tried to keep all the books for the teens around 100 – 120 pages. Those seemed to make the best sized ones.

  • Be sure to have the books vary in height. The shorter books make cute “baby” hedgies.

  • If I ever do this one again, I’ll be sure to have some felt and other materials they can dress up their hedgie. Some of my teens took advantage of the extra book cover and markers that were hanging around, but it would have been interesting to see what they could have really come up with.

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Teen Program: Spa Day

The 4-1-1:

When: September 17th, 6:30 – 8:00pm
Resources: Sugar Scrub Recipes: Chocolate, Snickerdoodle, & Vanilla, Facial Mask Recipe, DIY Sleep Mask, Nail Art Ideas
How many teens: 10 teens
Cost/Supplies: $67

  • Nail Polish/Art/Removal (22): $22; plenty left for future program
  • Mirrors (4): $4
  • Measuring cups (2): $2
  • Jars (10): $0; already had
  • Cinnamon: $1
  • Honey: $1
  • Brown Sugar: $1
  • Vegetable Oil: $2.84
  • Bowls: $2.42
  • Sugar (2): $4
  • Nutmeg: $3.86
  • Cocoa: $1
  • Batting/stuffing: $3.97
  • Elastic (3): $3
  • Fabric (2 yds): $10.97; plenty left for future craft
  • Sew Kit: $4.97; will be used for future crafts

The run-down:

I divided the room into three tables: Sugar Scrubs/Face Masks, Nails, & Sleep Masks. The girls (and one boy!) decided to start off with sugar scrubs. I had the three different recipes printed out and let them decide which scent they preferred to do. They quickly learned that sugar scrubs aren’t an exact science and had fun creating new scents (like a chocolate vanilla). (30 mins)

At this point, the group started to break off a bit. The girls were interested in the facial, but didn’t want to do it because they had make-up up on. Same thing for the nails. Some of the girls were interested in trying some of the tutorials, but they had just had their nails done a couple of days ago. So, I had some who jumped over to the nail table while others continued to make another batch of sugar scrubs (the single recipe only fills about half a jar). The girls who went to nails were able to help each other and other than a few mistake were able to handle this without my help. (30 mins)

Towards the end of the night, most of the girls ended up at the sleep mask station. They had 5-6 different fabrics they could pick from. The kit I bought had plenty of needles, thread, and pins for all the girls to use. The tutorial I used was quite simple and merely consisted of cutting out the pattern, sewing it together, and then adding stuffing. I was slightly worried about them not being able to hand stitch, but only one girl had any problems. (30 mins)

Take-away/lessons learned:

  • Sugar scrubs are quite forgiving. We used vegetable oil for all of ours instead of the grape seed oil, olive oil, etc. The oils are pretty exchangeable, so whichever you choose should be fine for all the recipes. Also, many of the teens has to add more oil as it was too dry for their tastes.

  • Most of the girls opted not to use the stuffing for their sleep masks. Most of them wanted to put rice in instead. The rice can be heated up to be used as a heat mask, which they all preferred. (I’ve also heard you can throw them in the freezer for about 15 minutes and use them as a cold mask, however, I’ve never tried this out.)

  • Don’t be afraid to let boys come. I think the one I had came as a joke/to flirt with the girls, but he didn’t really disrupt the program at all. (At least, no more than normal) He ended up loving the sugar scrub (exclaiming how soft it made it hands) and helped the girls with his nails. I will admit we tried to get him to paint his nails, but were unable to get him to really do it.

  • While the nail station went fine, I think it may have been fun to pick one tutorial and have all the teens do it at once. If I decide to do this, I’ll make sure the teens don’t have their nails done the days before/come with clean nails.

  • I’ve done a spa day in the past with Mary Kay, that just went way too fast. However, pairing these activities with what she offered may have been quite nice. If I do another one, I will probably reach out to a consultant to see if they would come in.

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Teen Program: Friday Night Madness – Nerf Gun War

The 4-1-1:

When: September 13th, 4:30 – 8:00pm
Resources: None
How many teens: 22 teens
Cost/Supplies: $0

  • Empty Boxes (collected from Library)
  • Nerf Guns (already had)

The run-down:

I put all the collected boxes into the middle of the room. After splitting the group into two, I let the team captains take turn picking which boxes we had. Since we had boxes of all sizes I felt like this would make the box division the most even. Once the teams and box had been divvied up, I gave them about 15 minutes to build their base.

After the bases were built, I went over all the rules. The rounds would last 10 minutes, if you were hit you were out (but I allowed them to go back in at the halfway point), and no headshots. I then allowed each team to pull out 10 chairs to use as cover and started the game.

I did change up the rules up a little as we played. For example, I set the timer for every 2 minutes, so they’re “dead” time was much shorter. We also switched up teams about halfway through and the teens started to get creative and created body armor out of boxes. I did have a couple of kids decide to go play board games with my co-worker towards the end (Dual program), but the majority stayed with the nerf guns the whole time.

Take-away/lessons learned:

  • Overall, this one was quite successful. All the teens I’ve talked to had a blast & are already excited about next month (zombies). I even had a couple of teens who expressed surprise at how much fun they had (slightly insulting, but kind of the best compliment, too)

  • The only real change I would make is to have them divide their teams into “roles”. I had one team who tried to camp the whole time behind their fort (I did outlaw this), but I could see keeping a “gunner” or a “weapon re-loader” back behind there while everyone else tackled the battlefield.

  • The other thing I’m not sure how to fix is the “I got so – and – so and they’re won’t go out!” I tried to watch as much as possible, but with 20 teens all shooting guns at the same time it’s near impossible. I did start saying that if someone says they got you, then you’re out. With the time limit being every 2 minutes, most teens didn’t have to wait too long. I know it wasn’t the best solution, but it was the most workable at that moment. If I decide to do nerf gun wars this style again, this will be something I think harder about and try to come up with a solution.


Teen Program: Music Trivia Night

The 4-1-1:

When: July 23rd, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Resources: Playlists on Spotify, Finish the Lyrics (created by me)
How many teens: 7 teens
Cost/Supplies: $0

  • iPad (or something other device to play the music); already had

  • Spotify plus account (so you can use the playlists); 30 day free trial

The run-down:

I wasn’t sure how many teens I would have show up to this one so I had several things planned, including music jeopardy, random questions, and the song lists. They teens had hoped to do all of it, but we only had time for the playlists and finish the lyrics trivia.

The program itself was very simple. I used an iPad with a Spotify app to play the playlists. I had the playlist divided into genres such as Disney, Musicals, Top 40, & Country. Since the teens couldn’t see my list, I merely started at 1 and went all the way down; each least had approx 30 songs on it. The first teen to call out the correct name of the song earned a point. If no one could get it within 30 seconds, no one would get a point.

For the lyric trivia, I would read off the first half of the lyric and they would have to finish it off. I made them wait until I finished the lyric before they stood up. The first person who stood up was allowed to speak first. If they got it wrong, I would allow the next person to give it a try. Since these were a bit harder, I gave out two points per correct answer.

Take-away/lessons learned:

  • Instead of having the playlists separate, I should have pulled them all into one big list. That way it could have shuffled between the different genres. Some teens didn’t know certain genres, so they would sit and wait for the others to finish. The giant playlist would have helped lessen the wait time.

  • This is more of a wish list item, but I would love to have buzzer. It would much easier to tell who answered first.